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Kate Tindall went along to Festival for the Future in September and came back inspired by all the fascinating people she met. Here she talks about what she enjoyed most and who stood out.

The festival, which was held at AUT in Auckland, featured a speaking line-up of inspirational and interesting people from all walks of life, most of them young New Zealanders who are making remarkable things happen across Aotearoa. We also took part in interactive workshops.

My favourite speaker was 15 year old Taylor Finderup, who is leading the campaign, ‘Stop with Finning’ in Aotearoa New Zealand to eliminate the finning of sharks. Another stand-out story was Tsar Marsters. The 19-year-old transformed poor high school grades into a  passion for dance and has set up his own dance company Federation Dance Academy in the Waikato for young people, providing a positive environment where confidence is built through the art of dance.

Other great speakers included Minnie Baragwanath, from Be. Institute sharing her social enterprise which is working to create a 100% accessible Aotearoa New Zealand and a world that focus on accessibility rather than disability; and Andy Hamilton from The Icehouse about how to cultivate great ideas and help start-ups grow from idea to proof of concept to scale. Our dear friends Eddy and Jade from Curative spoke so well about their experiences of transforming their passion for design and communications into their social business, which enables community communication.

Other not-so-conference-like happenings included surprise entertainment by  Superhero Second Line, a brass band made up of superhero-dressed band mates, lots of other great musical acts, and even a lighting performance by Highly Flammable.

I’d recommend Festival for the Future to anyone hoping to hear about some of the inspirational and forward-thinking initiatives which are bubbling away in Aotearoa New Zealand. Thanks to Guy and the team at Inspiring Stories Trust who put on such a great festival weekend!